Cleaning Kits

Posted: January 7, 2013 in Accessories
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A good cleaning kit is something that every gun owner needs.  There are hundreds of different kits out there made by hundreds of manufacturers, but they usually contain the same stuff.  Most only differ in quality.  So what makes a “good” cleaning kit?  I’ve used various cleaning kits over the past 2 years and each has had its own advantages and disadvantages, but some are clearly better than others.

I received a cleaning kit from my fiance for Christmas and put it to use after a recent trip to the range.  Below I will break it down by categories that I feel are important and compare it to kits I’ve used in the past.

1) Contents
A good cleaning kit has lots of goodies inside.  The one I received easily wins in this category   It came with 6 rods, 3 are 4mm and 3 are 6mm.  One for rifles and one for shotguns.  It also includes brushes, swabs, and cloth holders (not sure what these area actually called) in plenty of sizes, from .17 to 12 gauge   Included is a small bag of 3″x3″ cleaning cloths as well.  The only thing missing is some cleaning solvent of some sort, but no kit I’ve ever used has included any of that and I have plenty already.

Compared to previous kits, this one wins hands down for contents.  Other kits I’ve used have either been just for pistols or just for rifles.  This one pretty much covers everything and while I will probably never use some of the parts, its good to have them if I ever need them.

2) Quality
Having a lot of pieces is good, but if they’re junk it won’t matter in the long run.  This kit isn’t great quality but it certainly isn’t horrible.  The rods are made pretty decent, as are the brushes.  The swabs however seem uneven across their length and some are losing their fluff without having seen any use.  The cloth holders are plastic and I doubt they’ll hold up to a lot of use, but they don’t usually see much force either.  The 3″ cloths themselves feel like diaper material which was odd to me.  Most pads are, in my past experience, softer like cotton.  They worked fine though so no complaints here.

Compared to other kits, this one is just average quality.  Other kits I’ve used have included pieces that were all made of metal, but some I’ve used have actually had plastic rods.  This kit certainly isn’t the highest quality, but it’s not the lowest.  Probably perfect for what I need right now.

3) Portability
A good kit can go with you wherever you go while still holding everything you need.  This one is the size of a small school textbook and has a carry handle.  Not too big to pack in a range bag and still manages to hold everything I need.

Other kits I’ve used have been as large as a small tool box and smaller than a soda can.  Obviously the smaller you go, the less you can have, but the bigger you go the less portable it becomes.  I guess in this case a “good” cleaning kit will be whatever balance of size and contents you feel is necessary for your own use.  This one is about right for me.

That’s really all I could come up with.  There are probably other things people use to determine what makes a good cleaning kit, but these are the biggest things I look at.  A cleaning kit serves only one purpose, to clean your firearms.  If it does the job well and covers all your individual needs, then its more than likely a good kit.

Leave me a comment and let me know what the biggest factor for you is.  Most of us have experience with cleaning kits so what’s a must have item in the kits you buy?  Is quality more important than portability?  Or are you ok with plastic rods and ratty swabs as long as you can carry it with you?

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